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Micro-Google?
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-10-31
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Google is one of the coolest, most-used search engines out there, and it's about to go public. This isn't new news, and it's no big surprise. But what is interesting is that Micro$oft likes it too.

"Google, the highflying Silicon Valley Web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a partnership or even a merger with Microsoft," says the New York Times.

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"According to company executives and others briefed on the discussions, Microsoft - desperate to capture a slice of the popular and ad-generating search business - approached Google within the last two months to discuss options, including the possibility of a takeover."

The Google IPO brings back memories of another public offering which helped to spark the dot-com explosion in which so many high-tech brokers lost their clients' shirts.

Netscape once threatened Microsoft with a software browser that promised to be an alternative to its overwhelmingly dominant computer operating system and, "Microsoft responded by significantly altering its business and adding its own browser as a free component of its Windows operating system, ultimately undercutting Netscape's business," say the report's authors, John Markoff and Andrew Ross Sorkin.

If Micro$oft does scarf Google down, it'll be interesting to see if the former retains the latter's cache system which stores old, dead (or just missing : ) pages so anyone, anywhere, can see what was used to be online, as well as what's there now.

It's rather like a library offering past editions and is invaluable to researchers. In a library, though, you have to spend a lot of time searching whereas with Google, if you've found the item, the cache is instantly available.

However, many groups and individuals - including those wanting to to hide past sins - don't like it and say it's an invasion of privacy.


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